An interesting note from a paper I wouldn’t normally look at (Ban the bigots from schools | The Sun |News). Michael Gove, who’s policies seem to be destined to lead to greater religious interference in our nation’s schools is apparently setting up a ‘due diligence’ unit to spot interference in schools! Interestingly the examples given by The Sun concern ‘Muslim jihadists’, and ‘Christian extremists teaching creationism’, with a later mention of ‘hardline political’ views.
Supposedly the new unit will monitor applications for new schools and arrangements in existing schools. In the 21st Century, the UK should have moved on from allowing pressure groups such as churches from running nationally funded schools. I appreciate the historical legacy of the established church in the development of national education, but times have moved on and the churches diminish steadily in their national role. Does this latest move from Gove suggest that the predominant forces behind his new schools are religious, often from the extreme end? We should look to the situation in the US where devolving power to local communities often empowers the strongly motivated (aka ‘extremists’ in Sun-speak) to drive forward irresponsible and often unconstitutional agendas in education, and be cautious.